What tomatoes to grow next year


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I’ve grown a few different tomato varieties and I would like some advice for some good heirloom tomatoes to grow. I’ve grown tomato delicious, brandywine, beefsteak, and Abe Lincoln tomatoes and I’ve heard that mr. stripey and Cherokee purple tomatoes are good varieties to grow. I’m going to grow one cherry tomato plant and seven normal size tomato plants next year, so some advice on some good cherry tomato varieties would also be appreciated. Also, I want to grow garlic in the middle of all the tomatoes because I’ve heard it keeps aphids away, but I want to know if it keeps beneficial insects away as well.
 
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Maybe I am jaded, but my tomato experience no matter what I plant in general terms the output ends being determined by the weather. Usually about thirty plants are put in the ground. My favorite is the dark types for the table which are all very similar to Black Krim. I have tried most over the years. Most of my tomatoes are made into juice so type does not play a big role. I usually plant some of the vanilla types simply because they are reasonable proven producers.
 
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Yeah, I’ve noticed the weather does have a lot to do with it. Whenever it is a really rainy summer, my plants don’t do as well and they usually get diseases.
 
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You should try a semi-determinate named Celebrity and an indeterminate cherry called Juliet. Both are AAS. And my old heirloom favorite Cherokee Purple. About the garlic plants repelling insects. I don't think it does a thing although spraying with garlic does seem to help. If your plants are stressed or infected with something insects ARE going to show up no matter what, but, if your plants stay healthy all you will probably see are a few easily managed caterpillars. I haven't seen an aphid in at least 15 years. I do get stink bugs every year but as long as I am vigilant in looking for eggs they are also easily managed.
 
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I’ll definitely look into those varieties. I’ve had problems with aphids for all five years I have been gardening. My dad use to take care of the garden, and he just didn’t have much time to take care of it, so the tomato plants got infested with them. That was the summer I took over the garden. I found hundreds of these tiny red aphids all over about 7 tomato plants that were planted within a foot or two of each other. The infestation that year was the worst one, and there was nothing I could do to save the plants. Every year since then, I’ve tried planting the tomatoes at least ten feet away from the previous year’s area, and I could never stop the aphids from coming back. However, they have been dwindling in numbers every year because I smash every aphid I can see with my fingers. Now that I know about pyrethrin, I can just spray them if I see anymore. The one thing that really puzzles me is that my plants also get diseases every year. I always put mulch down about 6 inches from the stems, plant every plant 3 feet apart, and make sure not to get the leaves wet when I water them, but the diseases come back anyways. I also wash my tomato cages with soap, but I still get diseases. I think that maybe the aphids are the ones that keep bringing the diseases back.
 
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I’ll definitely look into those varieties. I’ve had problems with aphids for all five years I have been gardening. My dad use to take care of the garden, and he just didn’t have much time to take care of it, so the tomato plants got infested with them. That was the summer I took over the garden. I found hundreds of these tiny red aphids all over about 7 tomato plants that were planted within a foot or two of each other. The infestation that year was the worst one, and there was nothing I could do to save the plants. Every year since then, I’ve tried planting the tomatoes at least ten feet away from the previous year’s area, and I could never stop the aphids from coming back. However, they have been dwindling in numbers every year because I smash every aphid I can see with my fingers. Now that I know about pyrethrin, I can just spray them if I see anymore. The one thing that really puzzles me is that my plants also get diseases every year. I always put mulch down about 6 inches from the stems, plant every plant 3 feet apart, and make sure not to get the leaves wet when I water them, but the diseases come back anyways. I also wash my tomato cages with soap, but I still get diseases. I think that maybe the aphids are the ones that keep bringing the diseases back.
It doesn't sound like aphids. It sounds more like red spider mites. Aphids are easy to control, spider mites are not. Using pyrethrin is not IMO the thing to use. True, it is a super killer but it doesn't kill very long. On 99% of garden pests the home gardener needs three things. A spinosad based insecticide, Bt (Bacillus thuringensis) for caterpillars and Neem oil for any eggs laid by insects and for scale insects. As far as diseases go, what are you experiencing? What are the symptoms? There are some diseases that you just have to work with, like early blight for instance. Other diseases are fatal. You must know what you are dealing with or it just becomes a hit or miss guessing game. Fertilizing is also very important. If you are using oil based/synthetic fertilizers and your dad did too then this could be why your plants are always sickly. A lack of organic matter in the soil, burned out by years of chemical fertilizer use. Anyway, the following link may shed some light on those tiny red bugs. Don't believe the controls they espouse though.
http://www.maherjabado.com/redspider-insect.htm
 
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I’m pretty sure that they are aphids. I can take a picture of them tomorrow and show you the bugs. There also aren’t any webs on my tomato plants, so that’s another reason I think they are aphids. What exactly do you mean that pyrethrin doesn’t kill very long? Do you mean it only kills on contact? That is what I read on the description of it. Also, I use soil that has slow release fertilizer balls in it. I buy that soil from Menards and it has little nitrogen compared to the phosphorus and potassium it releases, which is what you want for vegetable gardening. I also try to rotate my garden as much as I can, but since I grow a lot of nightshade plants (tomatoes, peppers, eggplants and potatoes) it is hard not to grow nightshades in the same place less than once every two years. How much do your tomatoes get diseases? I’ve read that you have been growing tomatoes for a very long time, so you know what you are doing
 
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I’m pretty sure that they are aphids. I can take a picture of them tomorrow and show you the bugs. There also aren’t any webs on my tomato plants, so that’s another reason I think they are aphids. What exactly do you mean that pyrethrin doesn’t kill very long? Do you mean it only kills on contact? That is what I read on the description of it. Also, I use soil that has slow release fertilizer balls in it. I buy that soil from Menards and it has little nitrogen compared to the phosphorus and potassium it releases, which is what you want for vegetable gardening. I also try to rotate my garden as much as I can, but since I grow a lot of nightshade plants (tomatoes, peppers, eggplants and potatoes) it is hard not to grow nightshades in the same place less than once every two years. How much do your tomatoes get diseases? I’ve read that you have been growing tomatoes for a very long time, so you know what you are doing
Pyrethrin is a short acting poison made from the chrysanthemum flower. It kills by contact VERY quickly When exposed to sunlight, air, mild acids and alkalis it immediately starts to decompose and become less and less effective.. So, unless you spray directly on the insect you probably aren't getting much of a kill.
Garden rotation is an effective means of controlling harmful nematodes but then so is pulling up all of your non-productive plants. Always pull plants before they actually die
My garden is 22 years old and has NEVER seen the first molecule of a synthetic fertilizer nor has it ever seen the first drop of synthetic/oil based insecticides or fungicides. My plants do not get diseases except early blight on tomatoes but I have learned how to control it long enough for a complete harvest. I live in a climate where tomato season is very short so what I do about early blight may or may not work for you. I never have insect problems either. I think this is for different reasons but the first is that I feed my soil. Synthetic fertilizers only feed the plant. Weak soil invites weak plants which invites insects. Another lessor reason I never have insect problems is that I inspect everything VERY closely and VERY often. I have been gardening a long time so I know what to look for and when to look for it. I know the good from the bad and at the first inkling of a future insect problem I take care of the problem before it starts.
 
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I’ve got a few more questions. How do you guys control powdery mildew on cucurbits? I have been trying a milk and water solution on my cucumbers, but I’m not sure if it is working. Also, how do you feed your soil? Do you make a compost pile with eggshells, coffee grounds, and dead leaves?
 
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Aphids never show up on any of my plants unless they’ve been exposed to chemical fertilizers. As soon as I give them a shot or two of a chemical, aphids show up like 3 days later. In my experience it’s a causation as I’ve seen this happen like 50 times.

For soil amendments there are like a hundred natural/organic materials that are beneficial like kelp meal, fish meal, langbeinite, cottonseed meal, oyster shell meal, leaves, compost, azomite, humic acid, greensand, rice hulls, zeolite, and mycorrhizae.

They sell custom blends that are like 5 or 10 things. Dr. Earth and Down to Earth are 2 excellent brands. I feed my raised beds several times a year and side dress plants. Use mulch like straw or wood chips to preserve moisture/water and encourage a healthy biome to breakdown your amendments.

And as far as tomatoes you’re right in your assumptions about the weather. I like Pineapples, Cherokee Purples, anything by Brad Gates, Black Krim, Celebrity, Rutgers, Ace, and Sungolds. There are hundreds of good heirloom varieties with more new ones every year.
 
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Does tomato tone fertilizer work well and is it organic? I bought that a while ago and used it once, but I don’t really know how to apply it without screwing up the roots of my plants. Also, I’ve got some Rutgers and Cherokee Purple seeds already, so I’ll definitely plant them next year. However, they are six years old, but I think they will still grow well
 
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Does tomato tone fertilizer work well and is it organic? I bought that a while ago and used it once, but I don’t really know how to apply it without screwing up the roots of my plants. Also, I’ve got some Rutgers and Cherokee Purple seeds already, so I’ll definitely plant them next year. However, they are six years old, but I think they will still grow well
Tomato Tone by Espoma is a great fertilizer and it is organic. Organic fertilizer isn't like synthetic fertilizer. It is very forgiving in its use. Using more than the recommended amount will not hurt your plants and it won't burn up your roots. 6 year old tomato seeds is iffy at best. Get new seeds. One of the secrets to growing tomatoes is in soil preparation.
For powdery mildew the weather is the main culprit but when any of my plants are affected I spray with straight 3% hydrogen peroxide. Most times it works, sometimes it doesn't. I've never had any luck with milk. I think it depends on how fast you treat the plant. You can spray Neem as a fungal preventative and at the same time knock down any harmful insect eggs that may be on the plants. Just keep your plants well mulched, try to keep the leaves dry and hope that rain doesn't last for days. Keep your plants well spaced for optimum air circulation.
 
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I’ve grown a few different tomato varieties and I would like some advice for some good heirloom tomatoes to grow. I’ve grown tomato delicious, brandywine, beefsteak, and Abe Lincoln tomatoes and I’ve heard that mr. stripey and Cherokee purple tomatoes are good varieties to grow. I’m going to grow one cherry tomato plant and seven normal size tomato plants next year, so some advice on some good cherry tomato varieties would also be appreciated. Also, I want to grow garlic in the middle of all the tomatoes because I’ve heard it keeps aphids away, but I want to know if it keeps beneficial insects away as well.
Bees love all allium flowers, and so are not deterred by garlic.
 
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